Podcast #210 - Cheap 1440P Monitors, 11" Gaming Notebooks, Windows 8, and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2012 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, ssd, shimian, podcast, origin, nvidia, Intel, eon11, catleap, amd, 7970

PC Perspective Podcast #210 - 07/19/2012

Join us this week as we talk about Cheap 1440P Monitors, 11" Gaming Notebooks, Windows 8, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:02:09

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:30 Introduction
  2. 0:01:30 PC Per moving to pcper.com/live
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  6. 0:03:10 Quakecon - Hardware Workshop @ pcper.com/workshop (August 4th, 2012 time TBD)
  7. 0:04:50 Join me next weekend at Fry's!!
    1. Fry's Electronics, 1077 East Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:05:40 Achieva Shimian high res Korean monitor review
    2. 0:14:40 Corsair Vengeance 1300 and 1500 headset review
    3. 0:15:30 Origin EON 11-S (m11x successor) review
  1. 0:20:10 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  1. News items of interest:
    1. 0:22:00 New Radeon HD 7000-series pricing
    2. 0:25:30 GPU Stock Update for July 17th
    3. 0:32:15 6GB Sapphire TOXIC Edition 7970 GHz - 1200 MHz boost speed
    4. 0:36:55 PoV launches overclocked GT 640
    5. 0:37:35 Microsoft Office 2013 (aka Office 15) Customer Preview,
    6. 0:41:30 Blue Prolimatech Megahalems HSF prototype
    7. SSD Stuff
      1. 0:42:40 Intel adds 240GB 330-series SSD, lowers prices
      2. 0:44:00 Possible MSI SandForce SSD
        1. Allyn believes this may just mean the company will integrate a mSATA SSD with it's mobos.
      3. 0:44:30: New OCZ/Indilinx Barefoot 3 SSD Controller
    8. 0:47:50 Retina MacBook Pro from a PC Perspective
    9. 0:53:00 Desktop Trinity APUs delayed
    10. 0:57:15 Microsoft Releasing Upgrade/OEM Editions for sale on October 26, 2012
  1. Closing:
    1. 0:58:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Vertex 4 special tease!!
        1. VTX4-25SAT3-64G - $69.99
        2. VTX4-25SAT3-128G - $104.99
        3. VTX4-25SAT3-256G - $199.99
        4. VTX4-25SAT3-512G - $529.99
      2. Jeremy: I really dislike installing heatsinks
      3. Josh: A kickin card for cheap
      4. Tim: Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, in the steam sale today!
  1. 01:02:10 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. 01:02:55 http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. 01:03:00 http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. 01:03:30 Quakecon coverage at pcper.com/workshop. Hope to see you there!
  5. 01:04:15 Closing/outro

 

 

Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Origin

Introduction, Design

origeneon11s1.jpg
 
The death of the Alienware M11x seemed as if it might leave a hole in the market – or not. As it turns out, that discontinuation of the world’s smallest gaming laptop coincided with the introduction of a new generic 11.6” gaming laptop chassis from Clevo. You can still get your netbook-sized game on.
 
Origin was kind enough to send us the EON11-S – one of several laptops based on the Clevo chassis – for review. If you’re in the North American market, the EON11-S is going to be one of the most attractive variants simply because of the company behind it. Origin is an established and well-known company with a great reputation.  
 
The Alienware M11x, which you can still purchase (while supplies last!) ended its life at the tail end of the Sandy Bridge era. It also always relied on Intel’s low voltage processors instead of the standard models – something I noted as a disadvantage when we reviewed the M11x in 2010. The lack of an optional quad-core processor made the Alienware feel half-baked as well.
 
Origin’s EON11-S, on the other hand, is the full enchilada. Base models come with a Pentium dual-core, but our review unit arrived packing an Intel Core i7-3720QM. All EON11-S laptops come with an Nvidia GT 650M as well. Let’s check out the full specifications.
 
Screen Shot 2012-07-06 at 10.18.06 AM.png
 
While the base model is priced at $999, our review unit rings up at $1,626. That’s quite a chunk of change – for the same money you could have a nicely equipped ASUS G55 or G75. Those laptops aren’t nearly as portable, however – so does gaming on the go justify the premium? Let’s find out.
 

EA Releases “Extended Cut” DLC for Mass Effect 3

Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2012 - 01:07 AM |
Tagged: origin, mass effect 3, gaming, ea, dlc

Today Electronic Arts made the Extended Cut DLC available for users to download. Reportedly, it would wrap up plot holes, explain the Reapers further, and actually be influenced by all the choices that you made throughout the game.

I’ll admit that I eagerly downloaded it and went in with high hopes for a better and more personalized (and meaningful) ending. I won’t spoil it for you but the new DLC adds a couple cut scenes to each of the three traditional ending choices and even adds an alternate ending as well.

MassEffectDLC.jpg

The download is a bit over 800 MB, and even around 10PM CST I was able to max out my Internet connection to download the full game and the DLC pack. To get the DLC, open up Origin, click on the “My Games” tab, then click on the little “i” icon in the lower left of the Mass Effect 3 icon. It will now open the Mass Effect 3 game details panel. In the upper right-hand corner, click on the “Shop for add-ons” button. Find the Extended Cut pack (free), and download it.

Once downloaded and installed, you will be able to start up the game and load a save just before you enter the Citadel in the final level. The steps needed to find and install the download were not as intuitive as the simple instructions EA provided, so I hope my path to the DLC will help you (I spent quite a few minutes trying to find the area they said to go to... may be related to a different version of the Origin client and me not being very familiar with the interface, but still).

Warning Spoilers after the break. You’ve been warned!

Source: EA
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Origin

Introduction, Design, User Interface

origin7.jpg

This summer is shaping up to be an amazing time to buy a gaming laptop. Intel has launched its Ivy Bridge processors, bringing faster performance to the entire range without increasing power consumption. Nvidia’s new Kepler based parts, although technically launched a couple months ago, are only now widely available.

We’ve already looked at many low-end solutions including Trinity, HD 4000 and the Kepler-based Nvidia GT 640M. We’ve also looked at one high-end gaming solution in the form of the ASUS G75V. 

Today we're reviewing the Origin EON17-S, an obvious competitor to the G75V. It's packing an Nvidia GTX 675M. An Intel Core i7-3920XM joins the party as well. Clearly, this laptop is meant to provide maximum performance - as the other specifications make clear.

origineon17s.png

Though it has gobs of high-performance hardware our review unit did not arrive with an internal optical drive (it did come with an external Blu-Ray). The drive had been removed and a 1TB hard drive installed in its place. This is a clever bit of packaging that makes a lot of sense and isn’t offered by Alienware, Maingear or ASUS. While I know some gamers do still use optical drives, I personally can’t remember the last time one was required for install. 

Our review unit tallies up at about $3500 bucks, which is expensive but not outrageous. Spending much more is difficult and requires that you either pony up for every frivolous option available or buy Nvidia Quadro graphics cards instead of the consumer-market GTX. Or you can put the price in reverse by downgrading to a Core i7-3610QM, which saves you over $1000.

Continue reading our review of the Origin EON17-S Gaming Notebook!!

Origin helps indie devs with 90 day grace for crowdfunding

Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2012 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: origin, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, crowdfunding, pc gaming

EA wishes to foster independent game distribution on their Origin platform. Developers of games which are crowd-funded through a service such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter will receive 100% revenue share from the service for 90 days.

I need to give EA credit when they do something good.

The Origin online distribution system is not as appreciated as Steam has been but that does not stop EA from trying. The service was made a requisite for PC games such as Battlefield 3 which was an annoyance to gamers -- much as Steam was an annoyance to Half Life 2 players. Whether Origin was a good service or not was irrelevant as customers just do not like to be forced to use a service to access unrelated content.

Origin has decided to waive distribution fees for crowd funded content for 90 days -- wielding a carrot.

crowd-source-games-banner_v2.png

Maybe Warren Spector should crowd fund a small project at Junction Point -- publish on Origin’s Systems

It’d be like Tim Schafer, just more ironic.

Two main options for crowdsourcing projects are Indiegogo and Kickstarter. If you are one of our Canadian viewers than you are limited to posting your project on Indiegogo as Kickstarter will not fund projects outside the US; of course you can fund American projects on Kickstarter from Canada, just not create your own. With Origin you are then able to publish on an established platform and receive full revenue for the first three months.

Of course if you have licensed technology or assets such as Unreal Development Kit you are still obliged to follow those commitments. For the first three months EA will just keep their hand out of your pocket.

Source: Origin

Origin Shows New Laptop Design, Phase Change Cooled Desktop

Subject: Mobile | January 12, 2012 - 04:50 PM |
Tagged: Overclocked, origin, laptop, desktop, cooling, CES

originpc1.jpg

Origin is one of the big names in the boutique custom PC business, and this CES the company is once again striving to prove why it deserves such credentials. I stopped by the company’s suite and saw something cool, something practical, and something jaw-dropping. 

Let’s save the best for first: Origin showed a Genesis system powered by a phase change cooling system built into the case. As a result of this system, the company is able to deliver cooling at temperatures nearing -40 degrees Celsius. The system also draws so much power that they could only run one at once – running both the phase change systems in the suite could be more than the room can handle.

originpc3.jpg

With the processor’s thermals taken care of, Origin is able to overclock up to two core of the Core i7 3960X to 5.7 GHz, while the rest can be clocked up to 5.3 GHz. This is well above the base speed of 3.3 GHz and in the realm of speeds you’d expect to see in competitions.

The rest of the system is also technically impressive. Four 3GB GTX580s running in SLI are shoved in next to 12GB of RAM and two Corsair SSDs in RAID0. This impressive hardware allows the system to post a score of 6,613 in PCMark 7 and 23,014 in 3DMark 11 (with the video cards overclocked to 950 MHz).

originpc2.jpg

What I found most interesting about the system, however, was Origin’s extreme attention to detail. They implemented a red-white-black theme that is conveyed not only by the motherboard and the video card but also the cooling tubes, heatsinks and even the numerous PCIe power cables sending juice to the GTX580s. Nothing was overlooked, and the result is a system that is sure to make any hardcore geek salivate.

Pricing is not available yet for this high-end configuration. Availability is expected to be around February or March.   

originpc4.jpg

Origin also has their cool new laptop designs on display. Like most boutique PC companies, the laptop chassis used by Origin is a generic design (by Clevo, I believe). However, the new Origin EON15-S and EON17-S will be using custom lid panels with a look that is somewhat reminiscent of muscle car’s hood. 

The glossy prototype versions shown by Origin looked a bit cheap, but the company says the final product version will be matte. If so, these could be some sharp looking systems. Of course, the internals are as quick as ever – the EON17-S shown features a Core i7-2960XM overclocked to 4.5 GHz.

The company’s last announcement doesn’t involve a system, but rather a practial feature for customers - support. Origin is now offering free 24/7 lifetime support for its customers. This is retroactive, so previous customers now qualify for this assistance. Better still, the support is entirely US based. You won’t have to worry about your concerns being lost in translation. It is refreshing to encounter a company that is adding customer service and support rather than stripping it away. 

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Origin